FerriesPast and PresentStoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland (SMZ)

SS Oranje Nassau – Past and Present.

SS Oranje Nassau

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw steamer, built in 1909 by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland. (Yard No. 462), for Stoomvaart Mij. Zeeland

Technical Data

  • Length: 102.9m (registered) 110.4m (overall)
  • Breadth of Hull: 13.50m
  • Depth: 7.24m
  • Draught: 5.07m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 2,885 gross/1,133 net/2405 deadweight
  • Engines: Two sets triple 4-cylinder Fairfield steam engines.
  • Power: 10,000 bhp
  • Speed: 22 knots.
  • Capacity: 356 passengers in two classes. 246 1st class 110 2nd class
  • Call Sign: PGOH
  • ID Number: 5607890
  • Official Number: 
  • Registry: Flushing/Netherlands
  • Sister-ships: Mecklenburg I, Mecklenburg II, Prinses Julian I, Prinses Juliana II


November 16th 1908: Ordered.

July 5th 1909: Launched.

1909: Delivered to Stoomvaart Mij. Zeeland, Vlissingen – Queensborough on trials she made 23.7 knots.

May 1911: Because of draft limitations in the Medway operated between Vlissingen – Folkestone.

June 1911: Visited the “fleet review” at Spithead.

1914: Remained in commercial service.

1916: Laid up when the service was discontinued for the duration of the war.

June 23rd 1919: Resumed the night service Flushing – Folkestone.

1922: Modernised internally and converted for the day service.

December 31st 1926: Arrived light at Parkeston Quay, Harwich from Flushing in order to start the Harwich – Flushing service the next day.

1927: Zeeland’s English terminus became Harwich in place of Folkestone.

1927: Arrived as the first ship on the route Vlissingen-Harwich.

1928: Used as accommodation-ship for Olympic Games in Amsterdam.

1932: Re-boilered.

September 1939: Operated Flushing – Tilbury 3 x weekly when Harwich became a naval port.

May 13th 1940: Escaped to England when the Netherlands was overrun by Germany. Under the management of Wm H Muller & Co., (London) Ltd used as a Dutch Navy depot ship  in UK during World War II.

May 29th 1940: Left the Thames Estuary for Weymouth Bay.

June 4th 1940: Berthed at Southampton.

September 6th 1940: Left Southampton for Falmouth.

September 12th 1940 – September 21st 1940: Via Milford Haven anchored in Belfast Loch.

October 20th 1940: Arrived in Southampton.

July 15th 1941: In use in Holyhead as accommodation ship of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

February 17th 1944: Arrived in London.

August 20th 1945 – June 29th 1946: Troop-transport ship Rotterdam-London.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

October 24th 1946: After release sailed Rotterdam-Tilbury/ Hook-Harwich in conjunction with PRAGUE (London & North Eastern Railway). This commenced the joint running operations which characterised the route’s future.

1948: Converted to oil-firing.

Roy Thornton Collection   Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

1949 – 1952: Chartered to Wm. H. Muller’s Batavier Line. 2 x weekly Rotterdam – Tilbury after which she acted as relief vessel.

1952: Summer; On the Flushing – Harwich day service.

July 17th 1953: Left lay-up at Schiedam and operated seven round trips Harwich – Hook.

August 30th 1953: Final arrival at Harwich then to Schiedam for lay-up.

1954: Sold for scrap to Hendrik- Ido -Ambacht.

July 12th 1954: Arrived for breaking by N. V. Scheepssloperij, Holland scrap yard.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions found. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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